ROSTOV-ON-DON, September 9 (RIA Novosti) – Police said Monday that they had detained members of a southern Russian gang suspected of murdering at least 18 people, two of whom were killed on Friday night for “two bottles of champagne, a bottle of perfume and a frozen chicken.”
The detained members include a mother and daughter, aged 46 and 25, and a traffic police officer who is no longer on the force, federal Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said in a statement.
Two policemen and one suspect were killed in a shootout while gang members were being detained, the Rostov-on-Don branch of the Investigative Committee said.
Suspects have confessed to killing traffic police officers, private security guards and other people, as well as to other crimes committed in the Rostov Region, the local Investigative Committee branch told RIA Novosti.
Searches of the suspects’ homes revealed an “arsenal of weapons” – a total of 20 firearms, including machine guns, grenades, shotguns and ammunition – as well as items stolen from their victims, Markin said.
The gang is suspected of crimes in the Rostov Region and the nearby Stavropol Territory, Markin said, adding that the suspects were all Stavropol residents. The investigation is ongoing, he said.
The telephone lines of the Rostov branch of the Investigative Committee as well as the regional police department were busy during several attempts to contact them on Monday.